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tv   MSNBC News Live  MSNBC  October 4, 2009 10:00am-11:00am EDT

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right now on msnbc sunday, a deadly day in afghanistan. a surprise attack by hundreds of taliban fighters on u.s. troops. a live report ahead. iran with nuclear bomb know-hoe how. court date. an alleged talker appears before a judge. you'll hear what the man's lawyer says about his client.
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plus -- >> for every person who buys an american car in the next six months, you're going to get one of these. >> spoofing the president. saturday night live with its take on the president obama checklist of sorts. a very good morning, everyone. i'm alex whitt. 10:00 a.m. on the east coast, 7:00 a.m. out west. what are the five myths of the economic roofly? but new this morning, reaction about the push for a new vaenlg in afghanistan. this as eight u.s. soldiers were kilted today in a fierce gun battle with militants near the pakistan border. on "meet the press," susan rice talks about the president's strategy in afghanistan and the call for more combat troops to the region. >> the president has to make a judgment based not only on the military assessment of his commander on the ground, also the inputs of his diplomats, he
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has to look at the military, the security situation we have in nato, we also have pakistan next door which is important to the equation and the entire global effort to fight and defeat al qaeda. >> for more, let's go to jik pi jim miklaszewski. was this a surprise attack? >> reporter: absolutely. the forces at that camp, that forward combat post there in the far eastern regions, the rugged moupts continue regions of afghanistan were attacked just after dawn by about 75 to 80 enemy forces. the battle raged on for more than six hours. and the enemy was firing from one concealed protections on on the mountain side that surround that camp. so they had the advantage of holding the high ground. and it took some time for u.s.
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combat helicopters and artillery to route out the enemy. at one point, the enemy was at ground level, had breached the wire, had entered the camp at a couple locations. part of the camp that was occupied by afghan national security forces wept up in flames, burned to the ground, and as you reported eight americans were killed and two afghan forces were killed. and the tragedy in all this is that as part of a new strategy for that region of withdrawing forces from those most remote, most vulnerable outposts, these soldiers were ready to shut down that outpost and leave it within two days. >> mik, you spoke with the general and he this is what he had to say about the troop levels in afghanistan. let's listen. >> you have to have a prepares here. you have to be in and among the people. and that's what we're talking about is the majority of the people, so it's our influence
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and not the enemy's. you can't do that from a distance outside of this country, you have to be in it. >> so can they get all they want accomplished here? what else did the general have to say? >> well, to get everything that they want to accomplish, general stand mcchrystal wants accomplisheded as he explained in part in his assessment that was turned on over to the white house a couple of weeks ago, it's going to take probably another 30,000 to to 40,000 more forces at least and that's believed to be his request beginning next year to have those forces. but the time frame is what seems to be eluding everybody. some seen quor mi some say it could take three year, others as long as five years. and some of the experts who we really trust say it could take nearly 200,000 u.s. forces in afghanistan for the next ten
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years. and it's clear that the white house is reluctant, president obama is reluctant to buy into that many forces over that long a period of time. so the feeling even among military officials is we can't leave afghanistan, it would plunge the country into chaos. it would affect neighboring pakistan, encourage militants, the tally with ta taliban to st operations. but they're resigned to the fact that they may have to take less than what they think that they need. >> all right, jim, thanks so much for the live report from afghanistan. developing now, iran's president says he will let inspectors see the nuclear
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facility. the news comes as the "new york times" says that rafrn has the information it needs to build a nuclear bomb. i'm joined from mike at the white house. let's get the latest on the challenge that this presents for president obama. >> reporter: the challenge remain as diplomatic one. of course secretary gates said last week that a military option, an air strike that would take out the facility that was revealed to the world radio dramatically by president obama and the ally, would only delay the development of iran's nuclear program. now, what kind of a program is in dispute. iran says this is for medical devices, civilian uses, energy proukts. no, says the president, this site can only be because of its size and configuration for developing military grades weapons material. now, the question is can the administration as they press forward, they did meet last week in gentlemeva, the so-called p5s 1 meeting across the table with
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iran, trying to make progress. they do have that pledge now today just announced by iranian officials that they will allow international inspectors on the site october 25th. so the suspicion among many who favor a get tough approach with iran is that they are stalling, trying to drive a wedge between america and its allies and in particular china and russia, who have been very reluctant to get tough with iran if they do not comply in coming clean about its nuclear program. >> and let's take a listen to what was said earlier by u.n. ambassador here from the united states on "meet the press." >> the onus is now squarely on iran to adhere to the commitments that it has made. if it doesn't, we're not interested in talking for talking sake, they have to demonstrate conclusively that
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their program is for peaceful purposes. >> you talk about the potential for conflict -- >> and, mike, i want to ask you, with regard to if that doesn't happen, how much are you hearing the words sanctions being bantered about? >> again, the question is will russia and china be on board and susan rice said the new day has dawned. all you have to do is look at north korea where they're on the same page as the united states and other allies and joining and getting tough with north korea. they really do feel as though the same thing can be translated to iran. there's a new diplomatic impetus in their view. >> mike, thanks. the latest on the aftermath in the philippines. typhoon parma killed over a dozen people. authorities fear parma could dump even more rain on the country. at least 300 storm related deaths have been reported in minnillo larks the flooding said to be the worst there in four decades.
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rescue and recovery efforts continue today. a dramatic twist in the case of a newborn baby kidnapped from his nashville home later found safe in alabama. the baby is now in state custody after he was briefly reunited with his mother. mean time the woman accused of kidnapping the newborn is behind bars this morning. ron mott has these details. >> reporter: the baby missing since it tuesday was found at this home in alabama late friday night. tammy rene is under arrest and charges are pending for the abduction of the knew born and the brutal attack of the baby's mother. >> translator: she says she was an immigration officer and she was there to arrest me. >> reporter: maria says a woman she let into her nashville home stabbed her eight times and took her baby. she took the newborn to her home. her boyfriend says she told him she adopted the baby from texas.
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>> translator: she said it was okay and she had legal custody and the court said it was okay for her to have the child. >> reporter: inside their home, baby clothes, sign that is a baby lived here briefly. maria, recovering from her wounds, awaits the return of her son so her family can begin to heal. ron mott, nbc news, atlanta. new details this morning in the case of a man accused of secretly videotaping a sports reporter while she was nude in a hotel room in both tennessee and wisconsin. good morning. the suspect has now appeared before a judge, right? >> reporter: absolutely. 48-year-old michael david barrett is behind bars this morning after appearing in a chicago courtroom this weekend. he faces federal charges of interstate talking for allegedly taking nude videos of espn
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sideline reporter erin andrews while she was in her hotel room. authorities say they believe barrett called several hotels to find out where andrews was staying and then he requested a room next to herself. barrett is also accused of trying to sell those videos to celebrity website tmz and then posting them online. after yesterday's court appearance, barrett's appearance talked to reporters outside the courthouse and his attorney says he's known barrett for ten years and calls him a regular guy and a great friend. >> i don't think mike's ever had a parking ticket before in his life. so these are obviously serious allegations and they're going to be taken seriously and we'll deal with the allegations at the appropriate time. >> reporter: law enforcement officials arrested barrett friday night in chicago's o'hare airport as he arrived on a flight from buffalo, new york. mean time, erin andrews has thanked the fbi agents and prosecutors. she released a statement saying she will, quote, make every effort to strengthen the laws on the state and federal level to
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better protect victims of criminal stalking. >> so what eat next step for michael barrett? >> reporter: he is due back in court tomorrow in chicago for a bond hearing. and the judge has also ordered that barrett be returned to california. that's where these criminal charges were filed and that's where he will face these accusations. if convicted, key face a maximum of five years in police oon and a $250,000 fine. and who knows what else. >> okay, thank you very much. up next, new insight into the president's decision to head to copenhagen. why programs he didn't think it was such a long shot. also, do you think consumers are regaining confidence? one our guests says don't bet on it. might have mitds about the recovery just ahead. plus -- ♪
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in afghanistan, one of the fiercest attacks in the entire war. eight u.s. soldiers were killed when they were stormed by more than 300 militants at a remote youtd post near the border of pakistan. the attack came just one day after president obama met with the commander of u.s. forces in afghanistan to discuss the way forward. i'm joined now from washington by associate editor with the
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hill newspaper. so we've got the white house and general mcchrystal disagreeing on the direction for the afghan war thus far. will this new attack change at all the way the white house thinks about afghanistan? >> this new attack will fuel the arguments on both sides trying to convince the president about finding a new way forward in afghanistan. if you look at the fact that we lost eight of our men and women in the service, that is the argument that the counter terrorism side that includes vice president joe biden, that if we engage in this level with the afghan people, we are not going to be getting at al qaeda, we will just be losing more of our own u.s. troops who are much more exposed in a counter insurgency strategy now against the taliban and we'll suffer more of our own casualties while not really getting at al qaeda. the counter insurgency side
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backed, of course, first and for foremost by general mcchrystal will argue that the taliban is so emboldened and in control of so much territory now in afghanistan that this kind of attack illustrates how much we need to remain there. so it helps both sides and makes this very, very difficult decision much more difficult. >> but do you see momentum going on one side versus the other? >> i think that you're getting indications from comments here and there that secretary of defense robert gates is wavering. you're getting different indications that seem that the side backed by general colin powell, general jim jones, vice president biden, seems to be in control of the debate. but i don't think we'll know until we have a final answer. >> i'm looking at a tweet right now. at this point it's a crap shoot. if we pull back, we're cowardly. if we send more troops, we risk
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more lives. it's all out of hand. i'm sure there are many that might agree with that. let's change gears because we're learning that u.n. inspectors will get a look at the iran nuclear facility. iran's president says president obama will be sorry for questioning iran's attentions for the plan. what would happen about if inspectors go in there, find something they don't like and what if everything looks okay? >> i don't think president obama will be sorry for questioning the iranians who continue to lie year in and year out about their intentions to am mass nuclear -- it create nuclear facilities and nuclear fuels. they have spent a lot of money and a lot of time do this. locating this last facility in a place that could not be attacked. i think if something is discovered, obviously something that -- evidence that they are creating weapons it tsh gra
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creating weapons-grade material, takes it is a tranlg i will franlg i will coalition. and what will china do? comply in a which is engaged selling gasoline to the iranians and reluctance to come to the table to back tougher sanctions. so an adverse discovery obviously that tests or coalition going forward and then the question is what is the ultimatum that president obama offers to the iranians. at this point, if we find out that nothing's going on over there but just the processing for peaceful purposes nuclear energy, then i still think that president obama will be lauded for both engaging the iranians and questioning them and forcing inspections. >> more next hour. thank you. for more political new, you can all head to our website, you can check the latest headlines including what to expect when
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the new supreme court begins its new term tomorrow. still ahead, the five myths about the economic recovery. that story next here on msnbc sunday. flu shot can reduce the risk of getting the flu by up to 70%. we got our flu shots at cvs pharmacy. best thing we ever did. yes, indeed. [ laughs ] come in to get a flu shot today and get a $100 coupon book just for stopping by. go to to find a flu shot location near you. cvs pharmacy.
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looking ahead to wall street, while stocks have been trending higher since march, we'll see more readings this week that measure the strength of the economy. tuesday we'll hear how the services sector is doing and that's from the banking to airlines to restaurant industries. that sector accounts for about 80% of all businesses in the u.s. then on wednesday, a report on consumer credit is expected to show americans are spending less and charging less. friday's report on the country's trade balance could show americans are losing more of their appetite for imported goods as they keep those wallets closed. and for more on the economy, a look at the week ahead. let's turn to rick newman with u.s. world report. unemployment, we don't like talking about it. most measures saying it will get
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up over 10%. does this mean the government will have to take further steps than they already have? >> i think we will hit that 10% moment probably in the next month, two or three when it will actually go over 10%. the government has maxed out. there's not much more the government can do. it all right spent $877 billion on stimulus, trillions to get the economy going. we need real businesses to start hiring people again and there's not much the government can do. >> this there are so many this things people say, but right now it is certainly about getting their jobs. let's look at the article that you wrote about the five myths about the economic recovery. we'll look at all of them. the first one you say a recovery will be quick and consistent. >> yeah. recessions don't end neatly or in a tidy way. they're sloppy and sometimes you think it's over but it's not really over. statement things get better for a while and then they get worse. and that's exactly what's
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happening right now. it is not going to be a straight line recovery. it's going to be a very choppy recover for probably at least a year. >> are we going to see a double dip recession? >> let hope not, but it's not out of the question. there's one forecasting firm that says the odds of a double dip recession which means another recession that would happen in 2010 are about 30%. i'd like to hear 5%. >> i seriously got a pain when you said that. >> it could happen and we're talking about unemployment. consumer spending drive this is economy. when unemployment is going up, people are not spending money and we've seen companies turning in some pretty good results. it's almost entirely from cost cutting. it's not from selling more stuff. that's what they need to do. >> consumers are are regaining confidence. >> confidence has gone back up in the last few month, but that's been almost straight line consistent with the stock market going up. so that makes you feel better off. we don't know that the stock market will keep going up.
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it'sing on the. october spooks the stock market and when unemployment keeps going up, people -- this reverberates in consumers' minds. >> and the last two. >> let's talk about pain. the word recovery sounds pleasant, much better than what came before. recoveries are actually painful. so we've now been in almost 18 months of recession and people's unemployment benefits are running out. if you've been scrimping, you're getting worn out. you're out of money. you're pot getting a raise. and this is a tough time. so recovery is almost a misnomer. it means the bad has ended, we hope, but there's going to be a tough period, it will be a painful like coming out of rehab. >> you can come back when you have better new, rick? >> you're not going to have me back if a year? >> of course we had. rick, thanks so much. still ahead, the finlg push in the new jersey race for
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governor. how much will the president's popularity play in the raceses? that's next here on msnbc, the place for politics. can i tell you what a difference phillips' colon health has made? it's the probiotics. the good bacteria. that gets your colon back in balance. i'm good to go! phillips' colon health. crunch. wheat thins. that's what's gonna happen here. because you're tasty... with toasty whole grains. (crunch) wheat thins.
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good morning. i'm alex whitt and this is msnbc, the place for politicses. the new jersey governor's race is getting pretty intense. could be a key political test for president obama. democratic incumbent governor jon corzine is trailing by four points and that is within the mar again of error. joining me live here in studio, media analyst for steve is also the author of "what were they thinking." this really is heating up. chris christie's lead narrowing. what is happening? >> let's be clear. this is a national race in many ways. you have two governor's races in new jersey and in virginia. obama, the obama administration particularly after what happened with the olympics, they're say
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it's a new jersey thing, nothing to do with us, but the fact is there are national issues here. obviously the obama people do not want jon corzine to lose in a state that obama won by 17 percentage points. so if corzine loses this race, and he was a big help in getting obama not into the at some but running, the bottom line is property taxes highest in the nation in new jersey, high income taxes, you have huge tax problems, an $8 billion deficit. yes, it's local, but it's national, as well. ultimately you've got a race where people are deciding do they want four more years of jon corzine who has a 56% disapproval rating or four years of chris chris city, the former u.s. attorney, plus a guy by the name of chris dagget, anothersh percentage points. new jersey has never had an independent candidate pull more than five percentage points.
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this chris gets 15, where is it coming from? it's protest vote. it will hurt chris christie. >> you don't see in virginia what you see in new jersey which is you see corzine really tying into barack obama. you see ads with him and the billboards and the like and he's really trying to put these two together. you don't see that in virginia. >> i expect to see an ad with jon corzine saying somehow he's related to barack obama because even though obama's having problems nationally with the health insurance plan, the health reform, obviously difficult situation -- >> and the economy and afghanistan. >> but in new jersey, every poll shows that obama still has strong support. so corzine, who has had to make some tough decisions, i'm not sure why anybody would want to be governor in the state. you go in and you've got corzine promised three years ago when he was running he would cut property taxes by 40%.
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he hasn't come close to that because you can't with an $8 billion hole. the bottom line is obama and corzine, if corzine can tie himself to obama, he has a real shot. what are they trying to do with chris christie, the republican? tie him to george bush. they're say, again, it's a redo. push against obama. what do you want? even though those are not the kabd dats on the ballot. >> talk about the trends because chris christie had a far more significant lead. so what do you think this says? >> you've got a guy, jon corzine, who has money to burn. when got elected in 2000, he spent $70 million for governor. what's happening? think about it. 30 second spots rule. what he another most powerful spot the on the air? a spot with corzine saying brief it christie supported a bear poens insurance policy so you can cut the rates
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that didn't mandate mammographieses for women. so what is the ad for corzine? he hit again and again corzine says that christie doesn't support mammographies being mandated. he says my mother died of cancer. what does that mean? it means that those 30 second spots distorting and will be powerful and corzine has the money to burn. >> you can give me what's at stake for the white house in this race? >> huge. if johning on corzine lose as race, it's a major embarrassment for the obama administration. even though it's local, it's national, as well. obama can't lose. >> thanks so much. new this morning, eight u.s. troops are dead after militant attackses in afghanistan. two afghan forces were also killed. it took place near the pakistan border. the taliban has claimed responsibility for the attack. it was one of the deadliest days for u.s. troops in afghanistan. and on "meet the press" this morning, an exclusive look into the possible future of the afghanistan war.
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moderator david gregory talked to susan rice, the u.s. ambassador to the u.n., and he asked if the afghanistan war is a, quote, war of necessary, as the president has said, why would he not immediately granlts the wishes of the commanders there? here's the response. >> we have put in place 21,000 additional troops. they are still completing their deployment. we have increased the number of civilians and we've increased the financial resources to to afghanistan and pakistan substantially. the president has commander in chief has to look at more than what is happening in a single theater. he has to look at what is necessary to to advance our goal of defeating al qaeda globally. >> i'm joined live from washington by democrat he can strategist and a republican strategyist. good to see you. peter, i'll begin with you. what else is the president weighing when deciding whether or not to send the troops that the commanders want? >> i think ambassador rice laid
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it out. there are a lot of different factors here and complicated by the fact that now the election is in dispute and there are some allegations of impropriety. so you really can't rely on the regime in afghanistan. and vice president biden has been over there and is iz having the president. i can't speak to all the factors they're looking at, but this president takes this very seriously obviously and wants to make the right decision and does not want to do it before all the facts are on the table. >> david gregory and ambassador rice went back and forth when he asked her whether the president is committed to staying in afghanistan until it's stable. let's listen to this. >> the president is committed to doing what is essential to keep america safe. and obviously we have made important substantial investments in afghanistan. we're not -- nobody is talking about walking away from afghanistan. >> until it is stable? >> the president will do what is necessary to keep america safe.
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and that relates not only to afghanistan, but pakistan where we face a very serious -- >> you won't commit to staying in afghanistan up it's stable? >> we'll commit to staying in afghanistan as long as it takes to keep america safe. >> but those can be two different things. >> there are challenges and threats that come to -- >> they could be two different things? >> they hey or may not be. >> how do we fwhoep america is safe? >> i think one of the ways we do, we talk to the generals in the theater. we also talk to the guys like david petraeus, we talk to guys like general mcchrystal and fact of the matter is it the president has to make a decision. will he stand with his generals and win this war and keep america safe or is he going to cow tow to the liberals in congress. if we pull out, it has terrible ramifications. it also sends as terrible signal if we pull out prematurely to iran, to the russians, the chinese. we have to not to stay the course, but we have to -- one of
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the they thinks about this battle here that happened yesterday is that we didn't have enough troops where we needed held. and we need on to send the troops in, we need to back up our generals, and we need to win this war because that does have implications for us back home. in vietnam, they were not going to attack the united states. what happened in afghanistan with 9/11, the taliban and the al qaeda decided to organize in afghanistan and that had ramifications back home. so that's yits's so vitally important for us to win this battle and win this war. >> so, peter, do you think the president wants the troops to stay in afghanistan until that country is stable? what is his goal? is there a direct cause and effect to this country's safety? >> he won't cow tow to anybody, liberals or anybody else in congress. he will made the decision based on what i feels is right and we will listen to all the advice from his generals on the dwround and from vice president biden. remember, vice president biden
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also has a lot of experience in this area. chairman of foreign relations committee. there's a lot of very smart people and it's a very difficult decision. this is why you see presidents age over the term of their presidency and you say he's gotten older in four years. these are the kind of decisions that these guys are under the spot height and they want to get it right. i know david gregory was trying to get ambassador rice to make a distinlgs between when the country is stable or not. i know what he was getting at. we had that same situation in iraq. is the government going to be stable before you leave. the dynamics here are so fluid and so complicated that you you just can't sum this up in a sound bite. so they'll make the right decision, though. >> joe biden was the surge on iraq and so many different things. he might have been on the foreign relations committee for a long time, but he's been wrong an awful lot. >> that will have to be the last word. peter, john, thank you. let's go now to the very latest on the aftermath of the
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deadly tsunami that struck the samoan islands. today is nag at prayer service is scheduled. and more aid is arriving. teams of national workers continue to distribute aid to storm survivors. the american samoan governor is calling on people staying in shelters to stay there for a few more days as authorities head out to survey the full september of the damage. american samoa and samoa were hit by a tsunami after an earthquake killing at least 176 people. still ahead, a sports reporter's accused stalker goes to court. for the ones we love with a flu shot from walgreens. ( blows nose ) ♪ ( coughs ) ♪ ( sneezes ) we're making it easy for everyone to get their flu shot, no matter how small their motivation may be. ♪ come get yours for just $24.99.
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a new report today that iran has the information to make and atomic bomb? let's talk about the head of the u.n. nuclear inspections agency there. just announcing a visit to iran's enrichment facility in qom. will they just sit by and wait for the inspectors to come october 25th, might they go in there and clean house, so to speak? >> reporter: well, the site in qom was discovered over the past few weeks. it was announced by the president. and there will be a visit now on october 25th. which is slightly longer than the within two weeks that was requested originally at the meeting in geneva last thursday. >> so people are suspect about that time frame. is there good reason to be? >> well, i don't think so. these time frames tend to get extended.
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what the united states is trying to do is to get a time frame to resolve the crisis. and the meeting on on thursday in geneva was quite significant because they reached an agreement besides going to inspect qom to ship almost all of the enriched uranium which iran has made and which people fear could be used to make a bomb for further processing and then to france to be made into nuclear fuel and then it would come back to iran as nuclear fuel and it will be much less of a proliferation risk. >> but who's not to say that they're hiding more uranium in. >> no wone. it's an unknown. but you go with what you know and united states knew about the qom site. what i've been told is that they know about sites but they don't have any site where they're actually hiding enriched uranium. they may or they may not, but we have to go with what we know. >> let's listen to what susan rice was saying on "meet the
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press" about iran's weapons program. >> this is a very serious process where we are together aligned with the p5 plus 1 that's russia, china, france, britain, germany and the united states, presenting iran with a very stark choice. either they give up their nuclear weapons program to our satisfaction or they will face additional pressure. >> that threat, that promise, however you want to coach that, does that work? is that why iran reacted the way it did? >> what you're talking about is the process that has gone on for several years starting in 2002. and iran has successfully while they're been intense international pressure, they've managed to build and even richment site where they have 8,000 centrifuges, 45 oof them churning enriched un rain yum, but the push administration took a policy of not talking to iran. the obama administration is trying to talk to iran. and with the meeting last thursday, we're seeing the first fruits of this policy. and once again the great
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surprise was is that iran is willing to ship 80% of the enreched uranium out of the country. whether they do this, whether they follow through, will they follow through in a timely manner, is yet to be determined, but this is where they are. >> but the willingness to ship that, what is that all about? where is the pressure coming from to make that decision? is it the fear of sanctions? >> no one knows for sure of course, but obviously there's been twe turmoil in iran since the elections in june. iran needs billions of dollars to keep its oil industry churning. so if they're under sanctions and if they're in a faceoff with the international community, they would have a hard time getting investment. and then the third thing is when the qom site was discovered, even russia got mad at iran and iran has survived through this crisis by having russia make any essentials much weaker. so when iran realized that rirus
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aligning with the united states, they made this concession. >> all right. thank you, michael. still ahead, more on the first doses of the swine flu vaccine coming out. we'll have the latest on the spread of the virus on msnbc sunday. (announcer) we understand. you need to save money. it would frustrate me.
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msnbc is the place for politics. here's where health reform stands right now. the senate finance committee to vote on the baucus bill this week and once that measure is approved, senate majority leader harry reid can merge it with the one passed by the health committee. then by mid month, the full senate debate is expected to begin, but will the contentses of the bill satisfy progressive democrats pushes hard for a public option? i'm joined live by a senior health reporter with the "washington post" who is super busy these day. good morning. >> good sunday morning, alex. >> let's talk about where this is heading this week. what do you see happening when
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you've got the baucus bill being voted upon merging with harry reid's? >> well, there's going to be kind of boring numbers budget stuff that will be happening this week. we'll wait for congressional budget office just to make sure that the baucus bill is deficit-neutral has president obama has said he wanted and then it's really going to go behind closed doors for a period of time while as you pointed out they'll be merging the two different senate bills to try to get one bill to head to the senate floor in a few weeks. >> you've been covering this for a long time. what's in this bill that everyone will see and applaud and what are the things that people are going to say most of all why didn't that make it in? >> well, the first thing that everybody will see and you hear a lot from the white house are those insurance underwriting changes or they're all the things that everybody gets frustrated with insurance companies right now like not being able to get coverage because of a pre-existing
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condition or having an annual cap on your coverage. those things are really certain to be some any bill that may pass. there's a good likelihood that there will be some tax credits or some discounts for low income working families to purchase health insurance and also some relief for small businesses. those are all going to be pretty popular elements, i would say, of any bill that could go forward. this are going to be some frustrations, some people will feel that this individual mandate, a requirement that everybody carry insurance, some folks will object to that and say that they think that that's unfair, some people will even say that there are some tax increases in the legislation to help pay for it that they don't like. and then i'm sure you're getting to the public option. >> i am. >> we don't quite now yet, alex, how that will be worked out because i think in all likelihood that public insurance option will be in the house bill, in all likelihood it
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probably won't be in the senate bill. so there's still? real behind the scenes thrashing that will go on. >> how badly does this president want the public option? he stated he wanted it at the outoutset, then backed off, and apparently to allow the legislators to work amongst themselves, see what they could come up with, but then the "chicago tribune" reporting that is he actually getting right in there and doing a pretty heavy behind the scenes push. where didn't the president not just come out and say this is what i want, this is where i want to go with it? >> all along president obama has tried to keep that distance as you point out because, frankly, he would rather wait and kind of see how the dust settles a little bit. now, it is true that the white house has been very involved really for quite some time. the head of the white house office of health reform, a number of other white house advisers, a couple of physicians that work for president obama, have been working with congress
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all the way through this process in a very low key, behind the scenes way. i think that now, though, we're entering that phase where president obama and also let's not forget vice president biden, they're going to start talking one-on-one to their former colleagues in the senate trying to see exactly where the votes are. they want the 60 votes. >> here's the bottom line question. if democrats control everything, why has it been so hard to push this through? >> well, i could tell you that on the substance of it, health care is not only complicated, but it's 1/6 of the nation's economy. it affects all of us very directly and very personally. and for that reason, lawmakers have some very strong opinions about what they're willing to do or not do to our health care system. the other reason is that while democrats control the congress, not every democrat is exactly alike, not every democrat is from the same state or the same district. and you have them running that
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ideological spectrum. some are very liberal and some could really almost be republicans in some states. so that's the political mix of that democratic party right now. >> okay, always a pleasure. thank you so much. now, if any of you love to laugh, there's good reason to stick around to watch msnbc sunday. our next hour, as saturday night live spoofs the president, plus lady gaga coming up. you've wanted to quit smoking so many times, but those days came and went, and the cigarettes remained. but today's a new day. and a few simple steps can make a real difference in your next quit... things like starting with a plan to quit smoking... getting support... and talking to your doctor about how prescription treatments can help you.
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talk to your doctor about prescription treatment options. and make this time, your time.
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